Djibo's dreams come true in West Africa

Djibo's dreams come true in West Africa

A few years ago, Djibo and his family shared some of their dreams with a visitor. "I hope one day to have a cell phone and a motorcycle, and that our community group can do trickle irrigation," said Djibo. His wives added, "We hope our group can get a mill so we don't have to pound millet all day long." 

Since then, some of these dreams have become reality. Djibo bought a cell phone, which can mean the difference between safety and danger in remote communities, and helps him stay abreast of market pricing and more. Last January, Djibo’s community put in a solar-powered trickle irrigation system. They've begun planting vegetables, including onions and tomatoes, using this new system. At the same time, the women’s group received a loan through the FRB-funded group activities loan fund to purchase a mill. The women are very pleased: because they no longer have to pound millet, they have more energy and strength for their many other daily tasks as they care for home and family. 

Djibo had received a bicycle during the first year of the program as recognition for his countless hours of volunteer work in his and neighboring communities. When asked recently, "How is your bicycle?" Djibo broke into a huge grin and said, "It is good! But now I also have a motorcycle!" He proudly showed off his new motorcycle and explained how this dream had also come true:

After the cattle fattening phase of the program, the local partner, Showing Everyone Love (SEL), put the money that had been reimbursed from the cattle loans into two revolving loan funds. Some of the money was used to start up a group activities loan fund, which groups like Djibo's wives’ group have accessed to purchase larger items like mills. The rest of the money went into the already existing microcredit loan fund. Since 2010, FRB has increased the size of this loan fund on several occasions. With more money in the loan fund, more people are able to access loans. Since January alone, over 300 people have joined SEL community groups, for a total of over 1,900 participants! In addition, those who want to receive larger loans to purchase more expensive items like a cow are now able to.

Djibo was eager to buy a cow, and received a loan of about $200. He then added $100 of his own savings, enough to purchase a cow and treat and feed it. Three months later he sold that cow and purchased another, which he raised for another three months. When it came time to reimburse the loan after six months, he was able to pay it back with enough left over to buy his second-hand motorcycle! 

The West Africa 1 Program encompasses 47 communities, 1460 households and 10,220 individuals. (For security reasons, identifiers of country and local partner are withheld from this report, and all names are changed.)

07/22/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment